You will not want to miss this exciting new film, a National Film Board of Canada – Triplex Films International co-production, coming to Edmonton’s Metro Cinema just before Christmas.
“In an extraordinary soup kitchen in Milan, two vastly different worlds have been brought together by a unique social experiment. Theater of Life captures the remarkable relationship forged between the finest haute cuisine chefs in the world and the city’s most disadvantaged groups: refugees, recovering drug addicts, former sex workers, and a host of others with no place else to go.
For Expo Milano 2015, renowned chef Massimo Bottura, whose Osteria Francescana was named world’s best restaurant in 2016, invited 60 of his international confrères to join him in transforming food destined for the dumpster into delicious and nutritious meals for Italy’s hungriest residents. But the documentary delves far deeper than this important food story: it captures the moving encounters of guests at the soup kitchen who have found a welcoming community there, showing us glimpses of their heart and soul in the process.
A visual feast in itself, Theater of Life puts a human face on its powerful message of social justice while raising awareness about the enormous environmental impact of food waste.”
–synopsis provided by the National Film Board of Canada
As the Director of OFRE, I often get more requests for interesting partnership projects than we can handle in a season and it’s hard at times to say no. But, that is sometimes the case when you are working a volunteer run organization. One project that came by our desk this year was a partnership with MacEwan business students to donate apples to their campus foodbank. One of the group leaders of this project is Jacquie Lycka who joined OFRE this year as a Neighborhood Fruit Captain, approached us about the idea. When we heard what they wanted to do, we couldn’t help but say yes! She has been a instrumental volunteer with OFRE and I knew with her energy and joy for apples, this project would get off the ground and be a success.
Here is a great short video the students put together on their apple project. Please watch and show your support for this great cause to increase healthy food donations to foodbanks on campuses. It’s inspiring, fun, and may cause you to think outside the kraft dinner box! Enjoy!
OFRE may have set some new picking records this weekend. Way to go neighborhood captains and pickers!
So what did we accomplish this long and labourious weekend?
Most number of picks organized in one weekend (7)
Largest geographic area covered in one weekend (St. Albert, Bonnie Doon, Millcreek, Buylea Heights, Castledowns, Oliver)
Most number of picks in one day, Labour Day Monday (4)
Amount of fruit picked (still need to weigh it…but it’s taken up a significant portion of my yard)
Possibly the largest variety of fruits picked: apples (several types), crabapples ( a few types), chokecherries, red currants.
Highlight: Apple crushing Garburator is built! Thanks to the amazing handiness of Mike Johnson for getting a brand new garburator on kijiji for a steal and turning it into an awesome apple crushing machine! (photos coming soon)!
It was a weekend of firsts for OFRE. Congrats to everyone for their hardwork! We have come a long way this year in many ways: the number of pickers we have attracted to our organization, getting some much loved media attention (Edmonton Journal, CBC, Radio-Canada), winning our first grant, our stellar new logo and postcards, winning our first grant, producing cider for the Alberta Ave Farmers Market!
I hope there is more exciting things to come for OFRE in the coming months and we will look back at this at the beginning of many exciting things. I have lofty dreams for our little organization. I hope someday we have a space in the urban core where we can teach and help people not only find the fruit hidden in our city, but educate and learn from each other on how to sustainably grow fruit within our urban environment. A place where the wealth that urban food production can bring to spaces, places, and people’s lives is spread and share with others.
A few weeks back one morning while sitting outside having a cup of coffee, I got a call from Liane Faulder of the Edmonton Journal asking if she could interview me about my fruit project: OFRE, which stands for Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton. I said sure! We had a great chat about the article linked here is the ‘fruits’ of that conversation.
This article by Will Guzzardi published in the Huffington Post, June 16, 2011, offers an excellent example of how cities are tackling the problem of food deserts in urban spaces.
Excerpt: “In a move that exemplified Rahm Emanuel’s approach to Chicago’s most intractable problems, the city’s new mayor sat down on Wednesday with the leaders of six major grocery-store chains to address the crisis of the city’s so-called “food deserts.”
For hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans, the nearest fresh fruits and vegetables are a mile or more away. This leaves residents stuck either taking long rides on public transportation and bringing back only what they can carry, or eating the processed and packaged foods available at the corner store.
Food deserts, areas that are distant from the nearest fresh foods, are a serious public health crisis, causing a marked uptick in diet-related illness like diabetes, obesity and cancer. Minorities and lower-income Chicagoans are far more likely to live in food deserts, which are almost entirely on the city’s South Side.”
Be sure to click on the photos and have a look inside the bus. It’s inspiring to see what one bus can hold and do for a neighborhood.